The United States, European Union, and Japan have filed complaints with the World Trade Organization (WTO) charging that China is intentionally limiting the export of its rare earth metals in order to give itself a competitive advantage.
Rare earth metals are minerals that are essential to the production of high-tech devices including wind turbines, and electric and hybrid vehicles. China is home to 30% of the world's rare earth metals, however, the country currently produces 97% of the world's supply.
The U.S., EU, and Japan claim China's reduced exports of the precious metals is an infringement of the international trade guidelines established by the WTO, which China is a member of. Chinese officials claim the reduced exports are the result of environmental concerns -- the government wants to make sure the metals are procured in a sustainable way.
This is not the first time China has come under fire for its rare earth metal trading practices. In 2010, Germany charged the Middle Kingdom with invoking "cartel-esque" practices in regard to the trade of these essential minerals.
A manufacturing and trade giant, China has ruffled the feathers of the U.S. administration on a continual basis in regard to its trade practices. For example, the last year has seen the U.S. solar and wind industries file complaints with the WTO.
Read the full story at the Huffington Post: China Rare Earth Export Limits Challenged by U.S., E.U., Japan
Image credit: Materialscientist via Wikipedia
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